The Magician’s Nephew – Chapters 8-9

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Alexis Record

“What if the leopard didn’t like the other leopard?”

“Well, too bad they have to populate Narnia.”

“Oh, Mom! There are only two people! Human people!”

“Well, they’re already married at least.”

“But what about their kids?!!”

[And here is where Little Bit accidentally stumbles upon the biggest ick factor in the creation story.]

Using her Kryptonian strength, Jadis reaches up and easily takes an iron cross bar off the lamp-post to wield as a weapon. She got sick of the cat-callers and is about to bludgeon them all. (Honestly, I’m not hating this.)

First she takes out the chief of police and it says he falls like a ninepin. Then she starts down the line of men. Distracted with all the violence, Polly of all people rushes the scene with magic rings in her pockets. It seems she had the same idea as Digory about getting the witch back to the Wood. Digory takes charge for no reason other than he has a penis and tells Polly to put on her ring when he gives the signal.

Jadis is having a blast. She just took out another officer who crumpled to the ground, and she’s on a murder rampage. She starts triumphantly shouting that she’s going to destroy London. (It’s nice to see her have some fun.) When Digory tries to grab her ankle, she kicks him and splits his lip, filling his mouth with blood. For someone with superhuman strength, why didn’t this kill him? This not-killing-him inconsistency means Diggyboy has two more opportunities to grab at her until finally he gets ahold and signals to Polly. Now they are flying through the Stargate back to the Wood.

And so is the Cabby. And Uncle Andrew. And the freaking horse, too.

At once the witch becomes ill and her powers start to drain. A bunch of plot-driven stuff must happen so the narcotized aspect to the Wood is completely forgotten this time around and everyone is in their normal mind. Although the horse finally calms down. Horsey goes to get a drink from a nearby pool and upon seeing this Polly yells to put on the green rings. Why? I don’t know. It makes no sense. Maybe she was hoping to go back to London? Maybe she saw the horse and decided that another world was best? Another world where the witch could regain her strength? That’s not smart. Anyway, it’s not super clear why she would have done this and why Digory was quick to oblige, except how else are they getting to Narnia?

So the entire party go into the world that is connected to the pool the horse was standing in.

And it didn’t exist yet.

I’m so excited about this next part. It’s like when I was a kid and I had an experience sharing a TV show I loved with a neighbor. She had never seen it before and I was so excited that when the theme song started playing I had this euphoric feeling. I looked over at her to share this moment and she was just politely sitting there enduring both the show and my hard stares. Come to think of it, she really was a tasteless and silly person, not adept at recognizing things of value–completely illogical. UNLIKE YOU DEAR READER.

Lewis describes a fetus earth, not dead, but not yet alive and kicking either. “And really it was uncommonly like Nothing.” It’s surrounded by complete darkness. Then a musical note begins, and is joined by others, which turn out to be stars coming to life. Then the sun is born, both younger and brighter than Earth’s sun. It erupts in joy showing a barren world—not barren as in used up and old, but a blank, tabula rasa waiting for the wonders to come. And what is driving the creation of things? Music!!!

*Stares hard at readers*

Like, come on, that’s kinda neat, right? Okay so the music is Aslan singing despite having a lion larynx, and at this point all the Christian children are going “OH HEY I KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON!” Still.

(Unlike the Bible, at least Lewis made the sun BEFORE the plants that relied on it. Almost like he knew more about how science worked than God did.)

Again, as in the first book, Aslan’s presence has a different effect on different people. Obviously the witch is all clenched fists, Uncle Andrew wants to hide, and the children and cabby are having some spiritual experience. Before all this the cabby started leading the children in a hymn so it’s clear that the religious people are the good ones. Yet the cabby started singing the hymn because he was scared, and I just realized that instead of reassuring him that they could totally get home whenever they wanted since they had teleport rings, the kids joined in singing. It was clear that reassuring someone was not as spiritual as worship songs. So not doing actual good things in favor of meaningless spiritual practice is what makes good people. Got it.

Uncle Andrew tries to get Digory to escape and leave the others. Jadis overhears that the rings are the power to escape. Now Digory and Polly threaten to leave them all behind in an instant if they try to grab at the rings. They even tell the cabby that they are about to leave him behind, too. He doesn’t care because Aslan has made him woo woo kachoo. (He has a wife at home but screw her. He’ll die listening to lion music because he’s totes spiritual AF.)

As the lion roams the world back and forth while singing it into existence, he came nearer and nearer to Jadis. She responds by chucking that iron lamp-post bar as hard as she can right at his head! The bar hit the lion between the eyes. Nothing happened, except for now the lion was coming straight for them. Jadis takes off.

The rest of the party are kinda paralyzed and don’t move. Another familiar scene is played out where everyone is terrified of the lion and hopes it won’t look at them, but at the same time “in some queer way they wished it would.” The faithful want the lion to maul or eat them, to be “living sacrifices” just like Hwen who offered herself to be eaten by Aslan and was rewarded. We’ve been over how sacrificing others or yourself to a deity is amoral, so I won’t re-tread that worn path. Just ew.

(Also, fun fact: the Bible talks about one like a lion roaming the earth, but it’s the devil!)

As the lion sang, the trees grew up all around like a time lapse video. A lamp-post started to also grow from this magic earth where the rod fell to the ground and stuck there. It was a living thing, and even had a flame come on inside. This would be the lamp-post Lucy would discover in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Uncle Andrew immediately began making plans to plant bits of metal and make battleships or whatnot grow from them. He even starts wondering if he could make a health resort out of this place since the air is making him feel younger.

At the mention of health and youth, Digory remembers his plan to save his mother. He mentions it to Andrew, but the older man doesn’t care. Digory then runs off to ask the lion for help.

The lion is making new music now which influences the humans present to make them want to “rush at other people and either hug them or fight them.” It made Uncle Andrew super horny. Turns out this kind of song is for making babies… er, animals.

(Where do babies come from? Well, first you feel like hugging or fighting, wrestling really. Then after you do a baby is made!)

The newly created animals come out of the earth like mole hills exploding. Even elephants pop out because Lewis doesn’t care about proper habitats. Then Aslan goes around arranging their marriages. He starts this by bringing out two animals (one male and one female) from some of the animals groups (not all of them, gotta have something unintelligent to eat) and supersizes them. Or more like anthropomorphisized them: beavers and Rabbits became bigger and smarter, whereas the elephants became smaller. Everything became more like humans as Aslan stared “as if he was going to burn them up.” Because the guy can’t do anything without it being scary or violent.

Then the lion said, “Narnia, Narnia, Narnia, awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts. Be divine waters.”

OH MY GOSH IT’S FREAKING NARNIA!!!

Alexis Record

Reading with Little Bit: A Critical Look at the Chronicles of Narnia

May 26, 2018

About the Author Karen Garst